Now we are at the mid-way point of the 2015/16 Barclays Premier League Season we’ll be reviewing the season so far and making predictions on who will win the league, qualify for Europe and who will be relegated in May.
Season so far in numbers
Yellow Cards- 663
Red Cards- 30
Arsenal had a slow start after they lost their first game of the season at home to West Ham they then had a good run of games before losing 2-0 to Chelsea. Their other 2 defeats came against West Brom and a 4-0 Boxing Day reverse away at Southampton. Midfielder Mesut Ozil has assisted 16 of Arsenal’s 33 goals this season.
Predicted Final League Place: 1st
No one could of predicted the start that Leicester City have had to this season, they were top at Christmas, last Christmas they were bottom of the table. The East Midlands club parted company with Nigel Pearson at the end of the last campaign and replaced him with former Chelsea boss Claudio Ranieri. England striker Jamie Vardy broke former Manchester United striker Ruud van Nistelrooy’s record by scoring in 11 consecutive League games. Jaimie and Riyad Mahrez have been the two players that have been in top form throughout. Leicester have lost only 2 of their first 19 games against Arsenal (5-2) and Liverpool (1-0) and sit in 2nd place only behind leaders Arsenal on goal difference
Predicted Final League Place: 4th
It’s been a stop-start season for Manchester City. They won their opening 5 games without conceding a goal but then suffered back-to-back defeats against West Ham (2-1) and Tottenham (4-1). They then went onto beat Newcastle and Bournemouth before a goal-less draw against Aston Villa. They then lost to Liverpool (4-1) then beat Southampton, Swansea and Sunderland but then lost at Stoke. In my opinion their inconsitancy will cost them a third Premier League crown come May.
Predicted Final League Place: 2nd
Tottenham are serious title contenders this season, Dele Ali, Harry Kane and the centre-back partnership of Jan Vertonghen and Toby Alderweireld have all shone this season to leave Tottenham in 4th place at the mid-way point of the season. I think they will definitely qualify for the Champions League.
Predicted Final League Place: 3rd
Palace have gone about their business quietly this season and sit in a quite respectable 5th place in the league. Johan Cabaye who joined in the summer have made an impact having scored 5 goals from midfield. Can they qualify for Europe? Probably not unless they invest in some players in January to give them more squad depth, but in this unpredictable season anything can happen.
Predicted Final League Place: 9th
Started the season well with a 1-0 win at home to Tottenham. Since then they have scrapped through results and at one stage were top of the league, but are now on their worst run in 25 years, not winning in 8 competitive games, leaving them in 6th place, putting manager Louis Van Gaal under-pressure with some United fans calling for him to get the sack. They need to be more creative in front of goal having only scored 22 goals in the league so reinforcements may come in January.
Predicted Final League Place: 5th
Brendan Rodgers reign came to an end in October, the Liverpool hierarchy replaced him with, well lets say a ‘charismatic’ German, Jurgen Klopp who made his name when he was manager at Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund. 11 games into his reign he has seen some inconsistent football, but did inflict a 3-1 defeat on Chelsea in October and a few weeks later beat title favorites Manchester City 4-1. All in all a stop-start season but the signs are there that life under Klopp is starting to come together.
Predicted Final League Place: 6th
West Ham United
West Ham failed to qualify for the Europa League via the play-offs at the start of the season, but since then they have adopted to life under Slaven Bilic and the summer signing, Dimitri Payet has scored 5 goals in his 12 appearances in the league and the return of England striker Andy Carroll has propelled West Ham into 8th place at the half-way stage of the season.
Predicted Final League Place: 10th
The first of the Premier League’s ‘new boys’ this season. Quique Sánchez Flores was appointed Watford’s 4th manager within 12 months and after signing what seamed to be a whole new squad of players in the summer, have hit the ground running and adopted to life in the Premier League. Nigerian striker Odion Ighalo has scored 14 goals in 19 games this season and this has helped Watford climb up to 9th in the table. Notable wins against Liverpool, Stoke and West Ham and a draw against Chelsea are stand out results so far in this campaign for Watford.
Predicted Final League Place: 13th
Another slow start to the campaign for the Potters but they have slowly built momentum after beating the two Manchester clubs within the space of a few weeks and then beating Everton in a thrilling 4-3 victory at Goodison Park have seen Mark Hughes side climb to 10th in the table, Stoke should look to aim for a Europa League place and are more than capable in doing so, but I think they will fall a few places short and miss out.
Predicted Final League Place: 7th
A mid-table side that should be striving to be higher up the table. They have the resources in Romelu Lukaku, if they can hold onto him in the January transfer window. Again like Stoke they should be aiming for European football next season but after a stop-start campaign I can see them falling short of their potential.
Predicted Final League Place: 8th
Southampton had a great start to the season but then went on a run where they didn’t pick up a win for 5 games seeing them slump to 12th place in the league. Things looked more brighter when they thumped Arsenal 4-0 on boxing day but that’s the only results they have had recently having only won 6 games all season. They need to hold onto players such as Victor Wanyama in January who has been linked with Arsenal.
Predicted Final League Place: 11th
West Bromwich Albion
West Brom look solid, they don’t score many (18 goals) but neither do they concede many (24 goals). All in all a very strong mid table side with expeirenced players such as Darren Fletcher and Jonny Evans. They need to hold on to Saido Berahino, a Spurs target in January and get him firing again. Tony Pulis has never been relegated in his managerial career and look a safe bet to stay up this season.
Predicted Final League Place: 14th
What a season to forget for the reigning champions. This stage last season Chelsea were 3 points clear at the top of the table, 12 months later they lie in 14th place with 22 points less than the half way stage last season. Players such as Eden Hazard, Cesc Fabregas and Diego Costa have not performed to the standards that fired Chelsea to their 4th Premier League title last season. Jose ‘the special one’ Mourinho has been sacked for the second time and has been replaced by Dutch coach Guus Hiddink, until the end of the season, who was interim manager back in 2009, back then he sealed victory in the FA Cup and turned Chelsea’s fortunes around in the league. In the 3 league games he’s been in charge he’s drawn 2 and won 1.
Predicted Final League Place: 12th
Norwich are the second Premier League new boys this season. However unlike Watford they have endured a typical promoted club season. They’ve been good in some games, beating Manchester United 2-1 in mid Decmeber, they also traveled to Anfield and Upton Park in September and came away with a point but, they have lost to Chelsea, West Brom and Newcastle, teams that are around them in the league and should be getting something out of the game.
Predicted Final League Place: 15th
Nobody expected to see Bournemouth do well in the Premier League but they have proved the doubters wrong and have put in some fine performances to put themselves into 16th place at the half way stage. Can they stay there? Well they don’t have that many players who have experience of surviving in the top flight so I see them as strong relegation threats.
Predicted Final League Place: 18th
After a great start to the season they went on a run of winning only 1 game in 11 which saw Garry Monk lose his job, and under caretake boss Alan Curtis they are showing signs of heading in the right direction. If they can get players such as Gomis, Montero, and Jordan Ayew back into form then Swansea will survive comfortably.
Predicted Final League Place: 16th
Newcastle started their season poorly but after a few good results including wins against Liverpool and Tottenham things are looking up for the Magpies. Pick up a few more good results in the second half of the season and they’ll survive.
Predicted Final League Place: 17th
The Black Cats don’t look good enough to me to stay in the top flight, yes they’ve got Sam Allardyce in charge and yes, they’ve go experience with the likes of Younes Kaboul in defence but they just simply don’t look good enough. They have picked up 3 wins all season, and have scored 19 goals all season. The Championship looks their likely destination at this present moment.
Predicted Final League Place: 19th
No hope for the Birmingham based club. They looked good for the first 90 minutes of the season against Bournemouth winning 1-0 on that occasion but since then they have looked poor, claiming 1 win, 5 draws, most notably against Manchester City, and 13 losses. They have 8 points at the half way stage, 11 points from safe. Some say, including myself that they are down already.
Predicted Final League Place: 20th
Predicted Final Table
- ARSENAL (C/CL)
- MANCHESTER CITY (CL)
- TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (CL)
- LEICESTER CITY (CL)
- MANCHESTER UNITED (EL)
- STOKE CITY
- CRYSTAL PALACE
- WEST HAM UNITED
- WEST BROMWICH ALBION
- NORWICH CITY
- SWANSEA CITY
- NEWCASTLE UNITED
- AFC BOURNEMOUTH (r)
- SUNDERLAND (r)
- ASTON VILLA (r)
C- Champions CL- Champions League EL- Europa League r-Relegated